Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: The Surprisingly Sincere Up Front Guide to Voting Part 2: Everything Else

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  • Emma Hart,

    Oh and there's a reddit thread of Kiwis voting from overseas, which somehow turned into a discussion of Canadian sport, but still, it's kind of great.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4610 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    BTW – parents please take your kids with you on election day when you vote, we did it every time, so they knew it’s an important part of becoming an adult …

    Yes it is. It clearly made a sufficient impression my kids last time that this election they pay more attention to the hoardings than I do, and have their opinions on what should happen. The 8 year old even watched the two Leader's Debate's, which is more than I could bear to do. He asked the other day what the "Yellow Party" stood for, and being the old philosopher that I am, I gave him the political theory with pros and cons, carefully pointed out what my opinion was, and that it was an opinion, and that every citizen got to decide for themselves. Practically every day we are having these discussions on the way to and from school. I think the younger has even grasped the nuances of the threshold, and how it influences behaviour. "You want your vote to count for as much as it can?". Bingo son, all those times you thrashed me at Catan are paying off.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10477 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Brent Jackson,

    Without proof the briber cannot be sure how the bribee voted.

    No, but a photo would not really be sufficient proof anyway. They could have already advance voted and then put something that looks like a ballot paper in the box, but isn't, and then just taken their ballot paper away with them.

    I think the reason is that no one should be wielding a camera in the polling center at all, at any time. It's a thing that could cause voter intimidation, and that is an absolute no-no, so it's not that much to ask.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10477 posts Report Reply

  • Kim Griggs,

    You can vote at Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch airports after you've cleared customs. Can't remember this being an option last election. The Commission really is making it easy for people to vote.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Trevor Nicholls,

    So if your identity is a sensitive matter, this option may help you

    Yes. Also if coercion is a problem. Controlling husband won't let you out on election day? Do it when you do the shopping some time in the preceding weeks.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10477 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Simon Lyall,

    Anybody could have stood at the window 2m behind somebody filling out their ballots (photo attached)

    I expect they would be noticed by the officers and/or scrutineers, and told in no uncertain terms to bugger off.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10477 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Kim Griggs,

    So any NZers who've been away for over three years can fly in the day before (but not on the day), register and vote.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5523 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Surprisingly, yes, that doesn’t seem directly excluded by the relevant section 80(1)(a) which disqualifies from voting

    a New Zealand citizen who […] is outside New Zealand and has not been in New Zealand within the last 3 years

    with some exemptions for people in certain specified types of overseas service, and their families.
    To be registered to vote in a particular electorate, you should have resided continuously for 1 month in that electorate; but as far as I can tell, that requirement doesn’t need to have been met within the last 3 years.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1669 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac, in reply to linger,

    Yup, I haven't lived in NZ for 5 years, nor actually stayed there more than 10 days on the trot in that time, but I'm still enrolled in Wellington Central, where I last lived, and will be voting from here in Canberra. I pop over a couple of times a year, but it doesn't need to be that frequent.

    And as Emma has already mentioned, you can enroll FROM overseas.

    I've only spent three of the last 19 years (holy crap) actually living in NZ, but have remained continually enrolled all that time.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 663 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Emma Hart,

    The having to orally confirm your name aloud thing was new last time.

    It was added into the Electoral Act by the Select Committee during an amendment law making other changes. It appears to have been a concern about the effect EasyVote cards had had on the process of voting. Before EasyVote cards, voters obviously had to ID themselves to polling staff. EasyVote cards weren’t legislated for (the Electoral Commission just decided they’d be a good idea to include in the voting pack thing), and this meant a change to how voting occurred, people could just hand over the card. Some National MPs are kind of republicans on this, and would, I think, like photo ID to be required, but they get pushed back hard on that by the Electoral Commission and other parties. This was what they got instead.

    The Select Committee’s explanation was:

    Confirmation of identity
    We recommend the insertion of new clause 24 to amend section 167, to require each voter to verbally give or verbally confirm their name when being issued voting papers. If a person could not do this because they did not understand English or have a physical disability, they could use gestures or the assistance of a person accompanying them. This provision would address our concern about people not explicitly confirming their identity before voting, particularly those with an EasyVote card, who are not currently required to identify themselves verbally.

    source: Select Committee Report on Electoral Amendment Bill

    There has been no subsequent law change, but in the review of the 2014 election, the Select Committee noted:

    Requirement for voter to verbally confirm their name
    For the 2014 general election, Parliament enacted a new requirement for voters to verbally confirm their name before being issued with a voting paper. This process provided for additional confirmation from the voter about their identity as well as ensuring the accuracy of the marking of the roll. We would like to see the commission ensure that this requirement is being consistently followed by issuing officers at future elections. If it was not possible for a voter to verbally confirm their name because of disability or language difficulties, they could confirm their name by writing it or by affirming with gestures that their name as presented on the EasyVote card was correct.

    source: SC Review of 2014 election

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3182 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    https://theconversation.com/giving-voice-to-the-young-survey-shows-people-want-under-18s-involved-in-politics-83101

    The Conversation has a topical article on voting restrictions, based on a study into support for explicitly including young people in government decision-making. Although given the popularity of sham "community consultation" perhaps that would just make younger people more cynical, sooner?

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1014 posts Report Reply

  • Soon Lee,

    So I went and cast my vote today which is the first day of Advance Voting. And in the process gained even more empathy for those with mobility difficulties.

    I found a conveniently nearby location for me from the map of Advance Voting locations:
    Auckland University,
    AUSA Club Space,
    The Quad,
    Alfred Street

    So far, so simple. And then the adventures began.
    (Rant ensues)

    The actual room you want to get to is one level up from the Quad and is not the only one that can be called a "Club Space". The one you want is upstairs from the foodcourt section, not upstairs next to the Maidment.

    I thought I was being clever as I had identified the location of the lift I would need (in the passage between the Kate Edger building & the Student Commons Building). I can manage stairs on crutches (broken knee; long story) but it's much slower with increased risk of falling. But when I got there, I discovered that the lift was not working. So as a work-around, I thought to use the lifts in the adjoining Kate Edger building instead. I made a guess on which level I needed to get to, made my way across the bridge separating the two buildings (which included a few stairs along the way). At the end of that corridor is a room marked "AUSA Clubspace", but the door was locked and there was no sign of life inside. So I reasoned that it must be the *other* Clubspace room. I figured I can get to it by going through the Common Room. But when I tried to open the door, found the Common Room to be locked.

    So I had to make my way on crutches back across the bridge to Kate Edger, take the lifts back down to ground level, make my way on crutches to the other side of the Quad. To get to the Voting Station, you have to walk up a flight of stairs as there is no lift on that part of the building complex. Or at least what I hoped was the Voting Station location (there was no visible signage). By this time I was determined & willing to take a punt, so I made my slow way up the stairs on crutches. It wasn't until I reached the top of the stairs that voting signage was visible.

    Once I got there, voting was straightforward. There were a couple of people staffing & a National Party observer. I didn't have an EasyVote card so was asked to provide the name of my electorate, and my full name. Once they confirmed my address, I was given my voting papers & directed to a voting booth. Having made my two ticks, I deposited my vote into one of the boxes provided, and I was done.

    Except that I wasn't. I stayed to make a few suggestions on (what I thought were) necessary improvements. They were already aware of the lift problem, but also agreed that having the Common Room locked blocking access between the lift & the voting station was also an issue. Had I been in a wheelchair instead of on crutches, I would not have been able to vote there.

    It turned out that there was voting signage at the bottom of the stairs, just not the ones I climbed (they agreed that signage on both sets of stairs would be a good thing).

    I personally like the idea of Advance Voting: giving people more opportunities to vote is excellent. Having a voting station at the university makes it easier for younger voters, a demographic that has had low turnout. I appreciate that it was the first day of Advance Voting and there would be a few wrinkles to iron out. But I didn't expect there to be so many wrinkles. I was especially disappointed by the poor/lack of mobility access.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2013 • 126 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    I can report that the advance-vote polling station I used in Blenheim was more wheelchair-friendly, with level ground-floor access through wide sliding doors (though I suspect the space available to get in and out of the booths might be slightly too narrow for easy manoeuvring). Certainly an improvement on last election's venue, which was a considerable distance out from the town centre. One niggle: the address given on elections.org.nz is slightly out. The map location is correct, but the address number given is actually for the building over the road. In practice the signage is visible enough to redirect those who go to the wrong building.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1669 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Soon Lee,

    I was especially disappointed by the poor/lack of mobility access.

    A basic requirement along with signs on all likely approaches, surely.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19382 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to linger,

    I can report that the advance-vote polling station I used in Blenheim was more wheelchair-friendly, with level ground-floor access through wide sliding doors (though I suspect the space available to get in and out of the booths might be slightly too narrow for easy manoeuvring).

    Yeah, last election, our advance booth was upstairs in the library. There is a lift, but it's around the back and means a bit of fucking around. This year, we're downstairs right next to the food court with big wide doors. We had a couple of people in wheelchairs in today and there didn't seem to be any problems.

    The first time I worked election day, though, we were in a booth which shall remain nameless which was down as accessible and absolutely was not.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4610 posts Report Reply

  • Soon Lee, in reply to Sacha,

    You would have thought so wouldn't you? I did.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2013 • 126 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB, in reply to linger,

    at any time on polling day before the close of the poll, conducts a public opinion poll in relation to the election

    But surely an exit poll is not an opinion poll?

    Q) Who would you like to win? A) Opinion
    Q) Who do you think will win? A) Opinion
    Q) Who did you vote for? A) Fact

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 863 posts Report Reply

  • Soon Lee, in reply to FletcherB,

    "Q) Who did you vote for? A) Fact"

    Assumes person answering is telling the truth.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2013 • 126 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB, in reply to Soon Lee,

    Assumes person answering is telling the truth.

    Of course... but even if it's a lie, it's not an opinion.

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 863 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to FletcherB,

    Approaching an individual and asking how they voted would still seem prohibited by section 203 on infringement of secrecy. See especially 203(2)(b)

    No person, except for some purpose authorised by law, shall […] attempt to obtain in a polling place information as to the candidate for whom or the party for which a voter in the polling place is about to vote or has voted

    It may be that a properly anonymised survey, conducted at some distance from the polling station, could be “authorised”, but that is not explicitly stated.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1669 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    I voted today (Auckland CBD).

    I enrolled after the August cut-off date, so I wasn't on the printed roll. My own fault (well, I'll share it with the people at my previous address, not forwarding my mail). But anyway, I've learned my lesson: if you move house, you should re-enrol, not procrastinate. I was told today I had to cast a special vote, which I duly did.

    It doesn't really matter, it was easy to enrol a few days go and easy to vote today. We were all in one queue, all voting in the same place. The difference was the box I put my ballot paper in - it was full to overflowing. Given its demographics, Auckland Central is going to have a truckload of special votes.

    This is not a party political thread, so I'll keep this "neutral", but when you're watching the results on election night, think about the specials. They have changed the provisional result in previous elections, and the make-up of the government formed. Feel free to shout this at telly pundits on Saturday.

    (ETA: Emma mentioned the tablet in the other post. I had assumed that my enrolment details would be available to the staff (I enrolled a week ago, and checked my details on the Commission website online before I went out to vote - so I'm definitely enrolled). But they didn't seem to have anything except the printed "book").

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1168 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to simon g,

    (ETA: Emma mentioned the tablet in the other post. I had assumed that my enrolment details would be available to the staff (I enrolled a week ago, and checked my details on the Commission website online before I went out to vote - so I'm definitely enrolled). But they didn't seem to have anything except the printed "book").

    Yeah, the tablet is a trial for advance voting and won't be there on election day. I think it's okay for me to say that the trial has not been going 100% smoothly, and I wouldn't be astounded if some polling places had decided not to use it.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4610 posts Report Reply

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